How to Choose a Galápagos Cruise | Galápagos Adventure | GeoEx

Choosing Your Galápagos Adventure

With the huge array of possibilities for exploring the Galápagos, planning a trip there can be overwhelming. Our experts are here to help. We have done careful, in-person research to find the best ships, guides, island lodgings, and activity choices. Unlike most travel companies, we discuss the many options—cruise vs. land-based accommodations, ships of different sizes, family options, etc.—and create an itinerary of top-notch experiences that matches your individual passions and preferences.

Cruise Aboard a Small or Mid-Size Ship

Cruise through the Galápagos aboard a top-notch, 16-, 20-, or 48-passenger ship—small enough to offer an intimate sense of being on the high seas, large enough to provide great comfort, stability, and a host of amenities. You’ll island hop and meet iguanas, penguins, tortoises, and more during hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling outings led by expert naturalist guides.

For our scheduled trips, GeoEx has vetted the huge range of Galápagos options and chosen top-notch boats for their great comfort, stability, and exacting environmental and hospitality standards, including these below. They are equipped with plentiful amenities, such as spacious cabins, sundeck, library, bar, and hot tub. Each ship includes:

  • Snorkeling equipment: masks, snorkels, flotation vests
  • Wet suits
  • Kayaking equipment
  • Whale- and dolphin-watching outings (seasonal)
  • Easy panga (Zodiac) boarding from ship
  • Meals: indoor and outdoor seating options; kid-friendly choices; dietary restrictions can be accommodated
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • Central air-conditioning with individual controls in each cabin
  • Top-of-the-line communication devices for remote transmission between naturalists on land and the ship

La Pinta

  • Capacity: 48 guests
  • Cabins: 24 spacious, air-conditioned cabins with large windows and private bathrooms; triples and interconnecting cabins
  • Decks: 3–4 public decks include a hot tub, bar, lounge, dining room, well-stocked natural history library, boutique, and sundeck
  • Guides: 4 certified, multilingual naturalist guides
  • Crew: 25–31, including an onboard physician and hotel manager
  • Speed: 12 knots, reducing inter-island sailing time, allowing for more time on land


  • Capacity: 20 guests
  • Cabins: 10 spacious, air-conditioned cabins, all with twin- or queen-size beds (two twins pushed together), private balconies, large windows, and private bathrooms
  • Interconnecting cabins available for families and friends
  • Decks: 3 public decks include a hot tub, bar, lounge, dining room, porch, and sundeck
  • Guides: 2 certified, multilingual naturalist guides
  • Crew: 11-member crew, including a experienced captain and full-time cruise director
  • Speed: 10 knots

Aqua Mare

  • Capacity: 16 guests
  • Cabins: 7 spacious, individually-designed suites in five cabin categories, including 861-square-foot Owner’s Suite
  • Decks: 4 public decks include an outdoor jacuzzi, barbecue area, workout zone, dining area, and lounge; main panoramic lounge; library; lobby bar; dining room; pop-up boutique; swim platform; and panoramic beach club / movie room
  • Guides: 2 certified, multilingual naturalist guides
  • Crew: 14 crew members, including a cruise director
  • Size and type: 164-foot CRN Superyacht Explorer
  • Speed: 10-12 knots with max speed of 17 knots

Private Charters for Families & Friends

If you prefer to sail the Enchanted Islands in privacy with friends or family, we can arrange 6- to 15-day private charters on a number of topflight smaller boats. After lining up the best-for-you crew, amenities, and expert naturalist guides, and arranging rewarding activities that speak to your group’s range of interests, we work behind the scenes to make sure your voyage runs smoothly.

Island Accommodations

Not interested in spending your nights on board? For nights on terra firma, we’ve sussed out accommodations that are up to GeoEx’s—and your—high standards, like Galápagos Safari Camp, a plush tented camp on Santa Cruz Island that treats travelers to delectable cuisine, gracious hospitality, and opportunities to hike, bike, island hop, and access remote, wildlife-thronged beaches with a private naturalist guide.

Overnights at Land & Sea

You can get the best of both Galápagos-exploring worlds: five nights aboard a deluxe vessel and two nights at an island retreat (both shared with like-minded travelers). If you’d like to get to know Quito and mainland Ecuador as well, we can arrange a journey with time in the islands and in the Ecuadorian highlands.

Combine the Galápagos & Machu Picchu

Boasting four World Heritage Sites, there is no other adventure in our roster of South American ramblings that packs in such a variance of epic highlights. Combining time in the Galápagos with a visit to the Incan heartland of Peru offers the richest combination of cultural and natural history imaginable.

More Galápagos Information

Our experts are happy to answer your questions and can be reached by email or by phone (888-570-7108).

View All Galápagos Trips

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